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EVOLUTION, SPECIES, INTERACTIONS AND BIOLOGICAL COMMUNITIES

How does a polar bear endure the long, sunless and super cold artic winter?
Adaptation Acclimation

Darwin theory of evolution by natural selection is


Most organisms produce more offspring than can survive. Better attributes = + chances to survive Those that survive pass on fit traits to offspring

Mutations (DNA) may give individuals advantages under the selection pressures of their environment.

Some giraffes had long necks, some short Those with long necks reached the food, those with short starved Long necks mate and produce population of long necked giraffes.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKnq j3YFXU8

Environmental factors
Selection pressure Influence the fitness of individuals and their offspring. Examples: Physiological stress, competition with other species, predation, luck.

Liebig - proposed that the single

environmental factor in shortest supply relative to demand is the critical determinant in species distribution bamboo
Shelford - added to Liebig's work by proposing that the single environmental factor closest to

tolerance limits determines where a particular organism can live


Environmental Indicators: requirements and tolerance of species determine specific environmental characteristics and ecosystems health. Example: Trout species

Saguaro cactus very sensitive to low temperatures

Tolerance Limits: levels beyond which species cannot survive


Several factors determine species distribution: temperature extremes, Salt concentration, Competitors, Food availability Tolerance limits also affect the distribution of young differently than adults Environmental gradient stepwise increase or decrease in an environmental factor

Habitat - place /environmental conditions in which a particular organism lives. Ecological niche Role played by a species in a biological community Set of environmental factors that determine species distribution. Ecological niche alterations Species exist within a range of physical and chemical factors as well as biological interactions. Generalists vs Specialists

Endemic species: specifically found in a certain habitat. Resource partitioning: species coexisting in the same habitat Law of Competitive Exclusion

Interbreeding species = better adapted = improved genetic heritage Galapagos Finch: original from seed-eating finch species evolution example Speciation: development of new species due to geographic isolation and inability to interbreed. Isolation - change of physical, behavioral and genetic characteristics of individuals. Allopatric speciation vs Sympatric speciation Selection pressures: factors that modify species traits. Directional Stabilizing Disruptive

Galapagos Finch Evolution

What is Taxonomy? Binomials to classify them Organization of specimens How they have descendent from ancestors Six kingdoms: animals, plants, fungi, protists, bacteria and archaebacteria.

Predation and Competition antagonistic relationships


Competition: shapes a species population and biological community Intraspecific: members of the same species Interspecific: members of different species Mechanisms to reduce intraspecific competition Young of the year can disperse plants Strong territoriality Resource partitioning between generations Predation: feed directly on another living organism, whether or not this kills the prey. Life cycles of predators and species Specialized food obtaining mechanisms Evolutionary adjustment behavior and body characteristics (camouflage)

Predator -mediated competition - cooperation


Predators and prey relation affect directly human needs

Toxic chemicals, body armor, extraordinary speed, ability to hide strategies to protect from predators Chemical defenses: distinct coloration and patterns Coevolution: physical an behavioral changes can become mutually beneficial Batesian Mimicry

Poison dart native to Central and South America.

Mllerian mimicry

Non-antagonistic interaction and even beneficial, with their fates linked Mutualism: enhance survival of one or both partners, combining tissues to mutual benefit. Commensalism: one member clearly benefits and the other apparently is neither benefited nor harm. Parasitism: a form of predation where parasite depend on the host.

A species or group of species whose impact on a community are much larger than would be expected from mere abundance.

Change competitive relationships change in food availability Maintain the balance of ecosystems Example: tropical figs/ Groups fungi

Keystone species common in aquatic habitat than terrestrial ones Keystone species increase niche diversity

Tropical Figs

Giant Brown Alga

Exponential growth - the


unrestricted increase in a population but possess a distinctive shaped when graphed over time.

Logistic growth: with unlimited


resources may, they may growth exponentially but this slows as carrying capacity is approached or exceeded

Species deal with limiting factors in their environment

R-selected species: depend on a high rate of reproduction


Overshoot carrying capacity then experience population crushes Grow exponentially, expend energy in giving birth to progeny, high mortality Low trophic levels in their ecosystems niche generalists

K-selected species: slower growth conditions near the carrying


capacity Crucial - ability to compete for limited resources Grow logistically, expend energy raising progeny Live in stable biological communities, such as late-successional or climax forests

Properties of biological communities and ecosystems


Diversity vs abundance

Community structure and patchiness Individuals /species spaced differently Arranged over a large geographic area or landscape Meet relatively uniforms interiors and edges
Distribution of members of a population in a given space can be: Random - individuals live wherever resources are available Uniform - often the result of biological competition Clustered - individuals of a species cluster together for protection, mutual assistance, reproduction, or to gain access to a particular environmental resource
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Communities distributed in patterns across a Landscape


Land with patches of different colors and shapes Each patch - biological community with its own set of species and environmental conditions Largest patches contain core habitat Ecotone: outside habitat cores, species encounter different habitat or border between communities Rich in species - individuals from both environments occupy the boundary area (edge effects) Environmental conditions blend and the species and microclimate of one community cant penetrate the other

Community properties

Complexity: refers to the number of trophic levels in a community, groups of species performing and to the number of species at each of those trophic levels.

Community properties
Resilience: either resist or recovers quickly for disturbance.
Complexity - less resilient Community diversity - resilience

Stability: communities resist changes despite disturbance.


Three kinds of stability or resiliency in ecosystems:
Constancy - lack of fluctuations in composition or functions Inertia - resistance to perturbations Renewal - ability to repair damage after disturbance

Primary productivity - a community's rate of biomass production, or the


conversion of solar energy into chemical energy stored in living

Net primary productivity = primary productivity - energy lost (resp.) High productivity: tropical forests, coral reefs, bays, estuaries (abundant resource supply) Low Productivity: desert and tundra lack of water limits photosynthesis and productivity is low.

Climax community: the community that developed last and lasted the longest
Process as a relay: species replace each other in predictable groups and in a fixed regular order. Climax community determinate by climate Maturation of an organism

Succession: organisms occupy a site and change the environmental conditions


Primary succession: land is bare as soil and then is colonized by living organisms where none lived before Secondary succession: a existing community is disturbed and a new one develops from the biological legacy of the old.

Disturbances within communities


Disturbance: any force that disrupts the established patterns of species diversity and abundance, community structure or properties
People and animals create disturbances Extensive changes take centuries to recover Breaking the grip of a super-competitor helpful role of disturbances Examples: landslides, mudslides, hailstorms, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, tidal waves, wildfires and volcanoes

Landscapes with unstable Climax


Characterized by periodic disturbances Made up of disturbance-adapted species Fires able to suppress competitors, prepare ground for seed to germinate, split thick seeds coats and release seeds.

Disturbances essential for maintaining a ecosystem


Floods help to maintain food-plains and river health Reset the successional clock in every community Stability over the long run